PRO BASKETBALL—Led by Artis Gilmore's 84 points and 44 rebounds in three wins, Chicago, which lost 15 of its first 19 games, extended its victory streak to five and moved out of the Midwest Division cellar. New Jersey beat San Diego 125-120 in a game that featured a 38-point performance by the Clippers' Lloyd Free, the league's second-leading scorer with a 27-point average, and a 48-point spree by the Nets' John Williamson. The night before, Williamson, who is averaging 21.5 a game, pumped in 40 in a 108-100 defeat of Washington, which won three of four games and increased its lead in the Atlantic Division to 2 games over second-place Philadelphia. Atlanta suffered an 0-3 week and saw its Central Division lead dwindle to a half game over Houston and San Antonio. In the Midwest Division, Kansas City has a 2½-game lead over second-place Denver, which won four in a row. Pacific Division leader Seattle played once and won to stay 1½ games up on Los Angeles and Phoenix.
BOWLING—NELSON BURTON JR. beat Mark Roth 216-184 to win the $100,000 Grand Prix of Bowling in Reno. CHERYL ROBINSON defeated Donna Adamek 186-156 to win the women's division (page 58).
BOXING—MIKE ROSSMAN of Turnersville, N.J. retained his WBA light heavyweight crown with a sixth-round TKO of Italy's Aldo Traversaro in Philadelphia (page 28).
COLLEGE FOOTBALL—CONCORDIA of Minnesota defeated Findlay of Ohio 7-0 to win the NAIA Division II championship.
December 18, 1978
PRO FOOTBALL—Two more teams clinched division titles, leaving only the NFC Central race undecided. For 24 hours Green Bay seemed to be in command in the Central as Detroit, led by Gary Danielson, who completed 26 of 33 passes for 352 yards and a club-record five touchdowns, upset Minnesota 45-14 on Saturday. However, the Packers dropped a 14-0 decision to Chicago on Sunday to remain tied with the Vikings. Denver's Craig Morton connected on 19 of 22 passes, including 16 in a row, one short of the league mark, for 283 yards and three scores to lead the Broncos to a 24-3 win over Kansas City and the AFC West title. His .864 completion percentage was the second best in NFL history. New England needed a field goal from David Posey with eight seconds left to beat Buffalo 26-24 and claim its first AFC East championship. Houston and Miami clinched the AFC's two wild-card berths. The Oilers beat New Orleans 17-12, and the Dolphins eliminated Oakland from the playoffs for the first time since 1972 with a 23-6 victory. Ken Stabler was intercepted five times, increasing his league-leading total to 30. Linebacker Larry Gordon picked off three, and Cornerback Gerald Small returned one 46 yards for a TD. San Diego defeated Seattle 37-10, dashing Seahawk playoff hopes, as Dan Fouts excelled for the second time last week. In the Chargers' 40-7 Monday-night win over the Bears, he hit on 16 of 24 passes for 269 yards and two TDs; against Seattle he was 22 of 33 for 279 yards and three touchdowns. In other games, it was Atlanta 20, Washington 17; Dallas 31, Philadelphia 13; San Francisco 6, Tampa Bay 3; the Giants 17, St. Louis 0; Pittsburgh 35, Baltimore 13; and Cleveland 37, the Jets 34.
GOLF—DAVID GRAHAM shot a final-round five-under-par 67, for a 273 total, to win the $210,000 Mexico Cup tournament in Mexico City by one stroke over Don January, the leader through the first three rounds.
HOCKEY—NHL: Minnesota Goaltender Gilles Meloche shut out Los Angeles 4-0 and Colorado 3-0 as the North Stars, the Adams Division's last-place team, put together their first six-game winning streak since 1972. Boston, the division leader and a three-game winner last week, opened up a nine-point lead over second-place Toronto, which dropped all four of its games. Paced by Mike Bossy, who had a hat trick, and Bryan Trottier, whose two goals and three assists tied a team record for most points in a game, the Islanders beat St. Louis 7-1. Bossy and Trottier then had a goal and an assist apiece in a 3-2 defeat of the Maple Leafs that stretched New York's unbeaten streak to 15 and its lead over the second-place Atlanta and Rangers in the Patrick Division to five points. For the second straight week a single point separates Smythe Division leader Vancouver and Chicago, both of which won two of three games. Montreal had what for it is a mediocre week—a win and two ties—but still maintained a nine-point lead over the Kings in the Norris Division.
WHA: Edmonton, which had won six straight at the beginning of the week, now has lost four in a row. Its worst defeat came at the hands of New England, which beat the Oilers 7-0 behind Mark Howe's two goals and a hat trick by Mike Antonovitch, who had six goals in four games. Quebec's Real Cloutier scored five goals in three Nordique victories to increase his league-high total to 27 and lead Quebec into first place. The Nordiques replaced Cincinnati, which is tied with New England for second.
MARATHON—DON KARDONG of Spokane, Wash. won the Honolulu Marathon in 2:17:4, one minute ahead of Benji Durden of Atlanta. PATTY LYONS of Quincy, Mass., with a time of 2:43:8, was the first woman to finish.
SOCCER—SAN FRANCISCO beat Indiana 2-0 to win the NCAA title in Tampa (page 18).
TENNIS—The U.S. defeated Britain 4-1 in Rancho Mirage, Calif. to win the Davis Cup for the first time since 1972 (page 14).
Ilie Nastase defeated Vitas Gerulaitis 6-7, 6-3, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 to win the $100,000 Frankfurt Cup tournament in Germany.
Tim Gullikson beat defending champion Harold Solomon 2-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 to win the $175,720 South African Open in Johannesburg.
VOLLEYBALL—UTAH STATE beat UCLA 15-2, 15-12, 12-15, 15-12 to win the AIAW National Large College Championship in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
MILEPOSTS—FIRED: By the Buffalo Sabres, who were 8-10-6 and in third place in the Adams Division, GEORGE (Punch) IMLACH, 60, the general manager since Buffalo entered the NHL in 1970, and MARCEL PRONOVOST, 48, coach since the start of the 1977-78 season.
FIRED: by the Oakland A's, Manager JACK McKEON, 43, who, after taking over for Bobby Winkles on May 23, led the A's to a 45-78 record and a sixth-place finish in the American League West. McKeon managed Kansas City in 1973-75 and the A's for the first two months of the 1977 season, when he was replaced by Winkles.
FIRED: By the U.S. Military Academy, football Coach HOMER SMITH, 47, who had a five-year record of 21-33-1 and lost four of five games against Navy.
HIRED: By Iowa, to replace fired football Coach Bob Commings, HAYDEN FRY, 49, who had a six-year record of 31-22-3 at North Texas State.
HIRED: By Florida, to replace fired football Coach Doug Dickey, CHARLEY PELL, 37, who had a two-year record of 18-4-1 at Clemson and this season guided the Tigers to their first ACC title since 1967. DANNY FORD, 30, Pell's top assistant, will succeed him at Clemson.
NAMED: Winners of horse racing's Eclipse Awards: Best 2-Year-Old Colt or Gelding, SPECTACULAR BID; Best 2-Year-Old Filly, IT'S IN THE AIR and CANDY ECLAIR; Best 3-Year-Old Colt or Gelding and Horse of the Year, AFFIRMED; Best 3-Year-Old Filly, TEMPEST QUEEN; Best Jockey, DARREL McHARGUE; Best Trainer, LAZ BARRERA.
SIGNED: By the Philadelphia Phillies, free agent PETE ROSE, 37, to a four-year contract for an estimated $3.2 million, which makes him the highest-paid player in baseball history. A three-time batting champion, Rose had a .310 average during his 16 seasons with Cincinnati. Last year he became the 13th player to get 3,000 hits and set a modern National League record by hitting in 44 consecutive games.
TRADED: By the Red Sox, Pitcher BILL LEE, 31, who was 10-10 last season, for Expo Utility Infielder STAN PAPI, 27, who hit .230 in 67 games; by the Mets, Pitcher JERRY KOOSMAN, 34, who was 3-15, to the Twins for minor league Pitcher GREG FIELD, 21, and a player to be named; by the Indians, Third Baseman BUDDY BELL, 27, who hit .282, for Texas Infielder TOBY HARRAH, 30, who batted .229; by Seattle, Shortstop CRAIG REYNOLDS, 27, who hit .292, for Astro Pitcher FLOYD BANNISTER, 23, who was 3-9.